This is a strange world indeed. This is a very big museum or a wonderful show. The flowers and the Himalayan landscape, the Niagara waterfalls and the blue seas, the sky and the Taj Mahal are all very beautiful and charming. But the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, lightnings, cyclones and epidemics of influenza and plague are frightfully awful and threatening.
A beautiful wife is very charming. She is very sweet, when she is young, when she smiles, when she puts on beautiful dress, when she sings and plays on the piano or violin, when she dances in the ballroom. But she is horrible to look at when she loses her temper, when she quarrels with her husband for not getting silk saris and gold necklaces, when she is suffering from acute abdominal colic or some such disease and when she becomes old.
The spring is very lovely. The trees arc adorned with flowers and fruits. The cool gentle breeze is really exhilarating but the summer is scorching. The winter is bitingly cold.
Man laughs when he gets a son, when he gets married, when he gets some sudden fortune or increase in salary, but he weeps when his wife dies, when he loses his money, when he is thrown out of employment, or when he suffers from some acute disease.
Now, tell me, friend! what do you really find in this illusory world–happiness or pain, joy or sorrow? Have you now understood the illusory nature of Mayic creation? This world is a mere appearance. Mind and the senses are deceiving you every moment. You have mistaken pain for pleasure. There is not even an iota of happiness in this sense universe. Abandon these selfish struggles and schemes for amassing wealth. March directly to that wire-puller who is moving these toys of fleshy human bodies, who is keeping up this big show, who is behind this show. In Him only you will find lasting happiness and perennial joy. Merge in Him by practicing daily meditation and Japa.
This world is as unreal as a shadow, bubble or froth. Why then do you run after the toys of name and fame?
How uncertain is sensual life in this world! How transitory and fleeting is sensual pleasure! Mark how many thousands of people were carried away in the recent Bihar and Quito earthquakes! [This refers to incidents occurred long ago before this book was written.] How many big palatial mansions were destroyed! This is Adhidaivika Tapa. Yet people want to build houses in Simla and Mussoorie and attain immortality there! How foolish these people are! Poor self-deluded souls! Pitiable is their lot! They are earth-worms only as they revel in filth. I pray for them. May God bestow on them viveka, vairagya and bhakti!
Go wherever you may, to Gulmarg or Pahalgaon in Kashmir, to Darjeeling or Simla, to Vienna or the Alps. It is all the same. You will not find any real rest. The charming scenery may soothe the retina for a second. Raga, dwesha, jealousy, passion and greed are everywhere. You will find the same earth, the same sky, the same air, and the same water. And you carry with you the same mind. Imagination and change of places have deceived not a few. O man! O woman! Be contented. Live where you may. But discipline the mind and the senses. Meditate on the inner Self (Antaratma) ceaselessly. Here you will find everlasting peace. The mind will stop deceiving you now.
To me the whole world appears as a ball of fire. To me the whole world appears as a huge furnace wherein all living creatures are being roasted.
Will your son or daughter or friend or relative help you, when you are about to die? Have you got one sincere, unselfish friend in all this world? All are selfish. There is no pure love. But that Lord, your real Friend of friends, Father of fathers, who dwells in your heart, will never forsake you, though you may forget Him. Adore Him in silence, that God of gods, that Divinity of divinities, Highest of the highest. May He bless you with His love, wisdom, power and peace.
As everything is unreal in this world, treat love and respect as poison. Be indifferent. Be reserved and reticent. Give up mixing with others. Live alone and enjoy the Atmic bliss in your heart. You do not want any company, when you can live in the soul.
You must show extreme contempt towards worldly objects. Treat all earthly possessions and sensuous enjoyments as dung, poison, dust, and straw. Turn the mind away from them. Then only you will get jnana.
Give up clinging to this illusory life. Be fearless. Take refuge in vairagya. All fears will melt away. Cling to the feet of the Lord. Cling to the indivisible, unseen, unknown, unknowable Atman or Brahman of the Upanishads.
By indiscriminate clinging to wife, children, house, wealth, and objects, you have forgotten all about your essential divine nature. You have become an atheist. Wife, husband, children and money have become your gods, whereas in reality they are your enemies.
If you develop keen vairagya, if you subdue your senses, and shun all enjoyments and pleasures of this worthless world, mixed as they are with pain, sin, fear, craving, miseries, disease, old age and death then nothing can really tempt you in this world. You will become proof against all temptations. You will have eternal peace, and infinite joy. You will have no attraction for women, men and other worldly objects. Lust cannot possess you then.
If you really want God and God alone, kick this world aside mercilessly. Enough, enough of your tea and coffee, enough of soda and lemonade, enough of father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister and relations. You have had countless fathers and mothers, wives and children in the past. You came alone. You will go alone. None will follow you save your own actions. Realize God. All miseries will come to an end.
He who indiscriminately clings to wife, son and daughter and the objects of the world has no other alternative but to forget all about his divine nature.
The company of worldly-minded people is as dangerous, if not more, as the company of a woman or man to a male or female aspirant.
Worldly men think they are quite happy because they get a few ginger biscuits, some money and a woman. O, if they would just taste the nectar of immortality, what should be the intensity of happiness they should feel!
Dear friend! The past now appears to you as a dream. Then why do you not believe that the present also will appear as a dream in the near future?
All worldly pleasures appear as nectar in the beginning, but become virulent poison in the end. This world is a mela (a kind of fair) as a diversion or sport for two days, and this body is a mere appearance for two seconds. Even if you become the sole monarch of the whole world, you can hardly be in the enjoyment of real bliss and peace.
Life of man on earth is nothing but a life of temptations and tribulations. Those who have real and intense vairagya and strong viveka can hardly be tempted by worldly objects, by Mara and Satan.
Being much hemmed in on all sides and whirling in, different conditions in this ever fluctuating world, you are ever whirling with delusion and afflicted with pains. Now, reflecting upon time which is eternal in its true nature, you cannot but term as a moment a hundred years of life. So how is it that you estimate your life so greatly and fall into all sorts of despondencies through insatiable desires? Who is there so debased in life as you who are spoiled through the gross mind? Fie on your uneven life, which cannot be considered as of any moment.
Comparing this life to the countless universes, you cannot but consider it as an atom–less than that. It is really surprising that you should rate so high this universe full of pains.
Even the greatest of persons will in course of time become the lowest of the low. All enjoyments, great men, and their kindred have appeared in former times. Where then is the certitude of existence of all objects now? The innumerable earths with their countless rulers and wealth have all perished like specks of dust; the devalokas (celestial realms) with their Indras and wealth have all disappeared: no limit can be imposed upon the number of universes, Brahmas and jivas that have come and gone. Where then are all the objects that have vanished out of sight? Where then is the permanency of earthly life? It is only by bestowing your desires on the illusion of the long dream of bodily delusion in the sable night of the unreal Maya that you have debased yourself to this ignorant state.
Enough, enough with all the deaths you have had in previous times. Not one beneficent object exists on this earth either in the beginning, middle or end. Are not all created objects coated over with the varnish of destruction? You enact in your daily life with your body dire sinful acts, painful deeds and illimitable vices.
In youth you are enveloped in ignorance, in adult age you are entangled in the meshes of women or men; in old age you groan under the burden of samsara and debility. You eventually die. Being thus always occupied, when will you find time to devote yourself to the commission of virtuous deeds? How came this Maya to play and dance in this world? This ghost of your mind dances in the theatre of this universe to the music of the organs. If in the opening and closing of the eyelids many Brahmas are created and destroyed, what are you, a puny person, before them?
You cannot please the world, your wife, husband and children. Remember the story of the old man, his son and the donkey. In the shastras it is said “The pure man is looked upon as a devil, the clever man as presumptuous, the man of forbearance as weak, the strong man as cruel, the absent-minded man as a thief, and the handsome man as lewd. Who can then please the world? There is no means within knowledge wherewith one can satisfy all people. One’s own good should, by all possible means, be looked to. What can the myriad-tongued world do?”
The Blessed Lord says: “A man is said to have transcended the gunas when he does not hate the light of sattwa, or the activity of rajas, or even the delusion of tamas, while these prevail; and yet does not long for them after they have ceased. He is like one who sits unconcerned, and is not disturbed by the gunas. He knows that they are the doers of all action, and never loses this power of discrimination. He rests in the inner calm of the Atman, regarding happiness and suffering as one. Gold, mud and stone are of equal value to him. The pleasant and the unpleasant are alike. He has true discernment. He pays no attention to praise or to blame. His behavior is the same when he is honored and when he is insulted. When men go to war, he does not regard either side as his enemies or his partisans. He feels no lack of anything; therefore he never initiates any action. He who worships me with unfaltering love transcends these gunas. He becomes fit to reach union with Brahman” (Bhagavad Gita 14:26).
To attain to this exalted state of spirituality, you should, in the first instance, fully realize the glory of life in the spirit, or the soul. Then only you will have the requisite strength to kick and spurn this world mercilessly and take to a life of meditation on the Atman and the path of renunciation. Constant remembrance, and meditation on the following verses of the Bhagavad-Gita will help you not a little in the attainment of your goal.
“His mind is dead to the touch of the external: it is alive to the bliss of the Atman. Because his heart knows Brahman his happiness is for ever” (5:21).
“He knows that infinite happiness which can be realized by the purified heart but is beyond the grasp of the senses. He stands firm in this realization. Because of it, he can never again wander from the inmost truth of his being. Now that he holds it he knows this treasure above all others: faith so certain shall never be shaken by heaviest sorrow. (6:21, 22).
“Released from evil his mind is constant in contemplation: the way is easy, Brahman has touched him, that bliss is boundless” (6:28).
“Now I shall describe That which has to be known, in order that its knower may gain immortality. That Brahman is beginningless, transcendent, eternal. He is said to be equally beyond what is, and what is not” (13:12).
“When the dweller in the body has overcome the gunas that cause this body, then he is made free from birth and death, from pain and decay: he becomes immortal” (14:20).
Dear friends! Do not relax your efforts. Keep the Divine Flame burning steadily. You are nearing the goal now. Thy Light has come. There is Brahmic aura in your face. You have crossed many peaks and insurmountable summits in the spiritual path by dint of untiring and patient sadhana. It is highly creditable indeed. You have indeed made remarkable progress. I am highly pleased with you, O Yogindra! But you will have still to ascend one more peak and go through one more narrow pass. This demands still more patient efforts and strength. You will have to melt your sattwic egoism also. The Brahmakaravritti also should die. Then only will you attain the Bhuma, the highest goal of life. You can do this. I am quite confident.
Chapters for How to Get Vairagya
- How to Get Vairagya: Editor’s Preface
- Chapter One: Happiness Is Within
- Chapter Two: What Is Vairagya?
- Chapter Three: Miseries Of Mundane Existence
- Chapter Four: Body
- Chapter Five: Woman
- Chapter Six: World
- Chapter Seven: Essence Of Vairagya-Shatakam
- Lord Buddha’s Advice
- Selections From the Viveka Chudamani of Sri Sankaracharya
- Four Spiritual Gems
- How To Get Vairagya (Remember These Seven Vital Points)
- How to Get Vairagya: Glossary
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